The game starts out with a cut scene that shows Plankton following through with an "Ingenious" plot to steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula. He has built a Robot creating machine called a "Duplicatotron" and plans to take over Bikini Bottom with an army of evil robots. The only problem is, for some reason, he put a switch on the back of the machine that says "Obey Plankton" and "Don't Obey" and left it on "Don't Obey". So the Robots over-run the Chum Bucket and ransack Bikini Bottom. Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick were playing "Robots and Racehorses" when SpongeBob says "I wish we could have real robots to play with." Patrick suggests putting the toy into his magic conch shell, because when he put the last bite of his cookie in and wished for more cookies, and it turned in to a "lots of little cookie crumbs". SpongeBob wakes up the next morning and his house has been vandalized, so he goes out to see what happened. Plankton goes along with SpongeBob believing he's responsible, and uses him to help destroy the rogue robots. So SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy journey through Bikini Bottom to defeat the robots along with giant robotic versions of themselves. After all three bosses were defeated, SpongeBob goes into the Chum Bucket to fight a robotic version of himself controlled by a robo Plankton to put an end to the robot menace. After Robo-Plankton is defeated, he reveals that the robots were obeying him the whole time.
NOTE: The way the plot rolls in the GBA and PC versions is a bit different.
On consoles, Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 3-D action-platforming game similar to the Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario titles, while the GBA version is a 2-D action-platformer. In this game, you can play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy, except in the GBA version, which is just SpongeBob. You mainly run, jump around, and attack robots through the levels, obtaining collectibles to advance to the next area. You start on Conch Street, which is the Hub world for the game, from there you go through the levels which are divided each into 4 sub levels. For example the first level/world, Jellyfish Fields, starts off with Jellyfish Rock, then you go to Jellyfish Cave, then, Jellyfish Lake, then finally Spork Mountain to fight the boss, King Jellyfish. Each sub-level after the first requires either Shiny Objects (The game's currency, divided into 5 different colors and values) or Golden Spatulas (Getting these is the main objective in the game, as most are required to advance). Each world follows the same basic template, except not every level has a boss. Each playable character has a different set of abilities, from SpongeBob's bubble attacks, to Patrick's throwing abilities used to activate buttons, to Sandy's lassoing used to reach far-away places. Once you unlock all three characters, you can switch between them at a Bus Stop, but every level has only two playable characters, and some must be completed by only one. The boss battles add significant twists to the gameplay from the main levels running, jumping, and kicking. Some Bosses will hurl objects or launch themselves at the player, while the player must dodge these attacks and hit the robot in its weak spot repeatedly. There are also frequent sliding challenges the player must complete to gain a golden spatula, or advance in the level. SpongeBob will slide down a hill, dodging objects, on his tongue, while Sandy goes down the hill on a clam just like in the episode "Pre-Hibernation Week." Each level is completely open and explorable, and players get a whole different perspective of places like SpongeBob's pineapple and Rock Bottom. Another thing the player is tasked with collecting are Patrick's socks. With every 10 socks given to Patrick he will give 1 "Golden backscratcher" (a Golden spatula). The game also features mini-boss battles in between the main ones, which are less challenging, but still not easy.
- Bikini Bottom
- Jellyfish Fields (Mini-boss: King Jellyfish)
- Downtown Bikini Bottom
- Goo Lagoon
- Poseidome (Robot Sandy Boss)
- Rock Bottom
- Mermalair (Mini-boss: Prawn)
- Sand Mountain
- Industrial Park (Robot Patrick Boss)
- Kelp Forest
- Flying Dutchman's Graveyard (Mini-boss: The Flying Dutchman)
- SpongeBob's Dream
- Chum Bucket (Robot SpongeBob and Plankton bosses)
- Battle for Bikini bottom was one of the most popular games for the PS2, making it a Greatest Hits title for the PS2.
- There are 100 golden spatulas to collect in the game, although not all of them are needed to win, you get a special ending for doing so.
- If you go to the movie theater with 40,000 shiny objects in the 2nd hub world, you can pay to see concept art from the game.
- The game features the entire original voice cast, except Mr. Krabs (Rodger Bumpass) who rarely lends his voice to games, and Mermaid Man (Ernest Borgnine).
- SpongeBob can bungee jump off fish hooks, similar to the episode "Hooky"
- If you go up to the Bus Stop in Rock Bottom, a bus will come and go as you approach it like in the episode of the same name.
- It is the 2nd 3-D SpongeBob game to be published, the first was Revenge of the Flying Dutchman.
Battle for Bikini Bottom has an aggravated score of 71 on Metacritic
IGN gave the game a 7.3/10, praising the overall feel of the game saying "I'm constantly amazed how much THQ and Heavy Iron got right" while also praising the games level variety, soundtrack, and overall fun. His main complaint was it's "a little too easy."
GameZone gave the game an 86 saying Battle for Bikini Bottom will keep young gamers "very occupied"
The game also holds a 74% on game rankings
Most critics were universal in their appeal of the open levels, graphics, and use of the SpongeBob license, while most also thought even though it's a childrens game it was not difficult and it could get repetitive. Battle for Bikini Bottom is routinely ranked as one of the, if not the, best SpongeBob games ever, and also one of the best lisceneced games ever.